Sales of pharmaceuticals in the Philippines are conservatively estimated at P100 billion annually, with 70 percent being accounted for by multinational firms. According to data from the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines, about 80 percent of the sales are in drug stores, 10 percent in hospitals and 10 percent in other retail outlets.
Out of total sales, 63 percent come from a major pharmaceutical chain, 17 percent from the combined sales of all other small independent pharmacies, 7 percent from private hospitals, 2.5 from public hospitals, 10 percent from other private outlets and 0.5 percent from other public outlets.
Thus, the private sector as a whole holds an inordinate share of the market (more than 90 percent), while the public sector is a very minor financier and purchaser.
Drugs account for about half of household health spending among Filipinos. Although pharmaceutical reimbursements of the social health insurance program (PhilHealth) remain small relative to its members’ needs, they already account for 30 percent of its total payouts. There remains a large unmet need for drugs which has not been quantified.
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